Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I'm Really Really Really Mad



I feel a little bit better having said it.






It’s an Animaniacs song. Takes the edge off it, right? I’m writing tonight for me, and I’m not throwing it to social but I am leaving it out there for people to find if they dig, because it’s my prerogative.



It’s been brought to my attention that I’m an angry person these days.I was like, “Nah, I’m not angry. Not most of the time. I’m only angry when there’s something to be angry about” and I dismissed it. But, I just spent some truly, truly quiet isolated time with just myself, no phone, no people, cats, house, radio, lights, power...and I think maybe I am angry. I think there is underlying anger there. And once I thought about it a little more (amazing what true silence and distraction-free zones will do for you, insert DUH WE TOLD YOU SO HERE) I think the only way for me to kinda...break free from it a little is not to keep it to myself anymore.



So. Here’s things I’m mad about. I’ll probably be vague about some and you (whoever you are) will have to deal with it and specific about others. And, while I’m feeling angry still, I”m going to put this caveat here: DO NOT MAKE THIS A BIG DEAL WITH ME. Okay?



If you see this post, and if you are like “woah, maybe she’s really messed up, I should probably butt in with my opinion of how much help she needs/why she’s wrong/you upset me cuz i think you’re talking about me” this is NOT for YOU. I’m not posting names, this isn’t a Mean Girls burn book, and I am not asking for anyone to armchair psychologist me. This is not a reason to call my mother and have a heartfelt talk with her about the horrible mental state of her daughter, and it’s not a reason to treat me differently. I’m putting it “out” here, partially because there’s relative low risk. If I don’t put it on Facebook or Twitter, it’s unlikely anyone who isn’t for some odd reason subscribed will see it, at least til much later, and then it’ll be...better? We hope?



There’s enough “out there” to make it feel like I’m not keeping it inside, with enough “no one is probably reading this” to make me bold enough to put it out there.



And I’m stalling.



SO:



I’m mad because....

Because someone hurt my mother, who was EVERYTHING to me. (She is, still, but like, everything WITH my husband, now.)

Because I had a person who at least semi-legally, was my father, who is totally, completely gone from me. And it is not my fault.

I’m mad because I was a secret.

I’m mad because I let myself be a secret.

I’m mad because I was in someone’s fan club when they were truly a best friend of mine.

I’m mad because I stayed in someone’s fan club, supporting them through really damn scary stuff, only for them to just not blink an eye when there was no contact.

I’m mad because I was ALWAYS the person to do alll the freaking contacting for every relationship all the time.

I’m mad because I laughed when people were like “we’d never get together if it wasn’t for you” when I really felt like being like “WHY?”

I’m mad because because I was mad about that, I’ve probably ruined some relationships I wish I wouldn’t have, since I generally just gave up on it, in cases I shouldn’t have. I made some new friends that now feel like missed chances because I just don’t follow up. And it bled into family stuff, and while some of my family doesn’t really reach out to me, I feel like there’s a lot of burden to bear there too.

I’m mad because I didn’t know about some of my more toxic qualities until way later than I should have figured it out, and I don’t know exactly what to do to fix that.



I’m mad because my hairdresser told me since I was 10 how excited for my wedding she was, and how she’d be there and do my hair, and wouldn’t it be great and lovely and wonderful, and what a joy it would be to meet my future husband. He would be so handsome and smart and amazing and it would be so awesome. Then, she ghosted me and my mom, didn’t show up to my shower, didn’t return any phone calls and to this day has more or less acted like I didn’t exist.



I’m mad because all the father figures in my life always went away. And one of the ones that I thought was the best, too, and who supported me through so much of my life, and who said, like the hairdresser, that he couldn’t wait to meet my future husband, and that he and his wife had a song to sing at my wedding, and who called me his daughter, had to work on my wedding day and couldn’t make it. Yeah, the wedding invites went out late, but something about that didn’t sit right with me. Or the people who actually love me. Or the people whose weddings he did show up to, who were skinnier and prettier and oh wait, who I introduced to them.



I’m mad because skinnier, prettier people are always so much more damn popular.

I’m mad that I let people (yes, people) tell me that I should understand why we weren’t together/dating/right for each other because “you’re not exactly a supermodel.”

I’m mad because I know that I still get marginalized because of my pants size by people that I work with or talk to and I know it’s happening but I pretend it isn’t.”

I'm mad because I taught myself I don't matter when I gave away everything I had to people who would just as soon never talk to me until it's convenient for them, and who NEVER gave of themselves what I did to them.



I’m mad because I don’t do enough.

I'm mad because I don't do enough for others now. Family, friends, husband, house. I don't do enough. Work. I could do more. I could do so much more, but i'm so ANGRY.



I’m mad because I still forget things ALL THE TIME.

I’m mad because I made so much effort to get organized and start doing better things for myself, and every time I try something awful happens.

I’m mad every time I lose something and someone in my house/family/friends cirlce laughs like “of course”

I’m mad because, guess what? I have ADHD. I just do.

I’m mad because some people will never believe that.

I’m mad because I have more anxiety now than I ever had.

I’m mad because I don’t now help the people I desperately wanted to help with their anxiety, instead, it just makes me anxious.

I’m mad I didn’t take my mom’s advice or learn from her better how to do chores and clean and run a house, because I’m overwhelmed now.

I’m mad because I am lazy.

I’m mad because I could do better.

I’m mad because I gave away a lot of myself.

I’m mad because I don’t feel like I can like the things I like without someone telling me why the hell I shouldn’t like it.



So here it is, all the stupid stuff I like: I like makeup. I like to wear it, I don’t care if it’s not healthy for my skin, or you don’t like it, you think it’s a waste of money. I like to travel. I like stupid tv shows, like stuff on HGTV, Teen Mom and whatever. Rot your brain or whatnot, sometimes I like that. I like any kind of artistic reality tv show, most of the time. I like taking baths. I like driving, especially alone at night in the summer with the windows down. I like to write. I love Chicago, all of it. I love Chicago so much that I daydream about what it would be like if I’d ever lived there. I love New Mexico, and I know I drove everyone nuts about that one, but the desert felt like a piece of me I didn’t know was missing. I like craft beer. I love photography. I love Doctor Who, and yes, I’ve only seen new Who even though I plan to change that. I love Star Trek. I love every single Marvel movie and I’ve said I didn’t before just to fit in. I just like them, canon or not canon. I like Buffy. I like Splatoon very much, and racing games, and I like Tetris. I like lots of sad solo player walking simulator games I hardly ever get to play. I like dancing games and videos. I used to love doing Darrin’s Dance Grooves and I would love to get my hands on Just Dance and do more Beat Saber, even though it embarasses me that I like it. I like to cook. I love the water. I love to swim, and I think, if anyone would get off my case about why that in particular is how I’d like to work out, that I’d work out a LOT if it was just in a damn pool. I like staying in hotels, even if the hotel is in Gurnee and it’s just for a night. I just like it. I love sushi and Thai food and spicy food.



I’m also mad because people insist i should check out/do/eat what they like, and never do the same for me.



I’m mad because I feel like I’ve tried really hard.

I’m mad because I know I haven’t tried hard enough.

I’m mad because I hurt the people I love.

I’m mad because I can’t stop being mad.

I’m mad because I’ve already ruined so much being mad.



I’m mad because I feel lonely.

I’m mad because I’m scared and stressed and lost sometimes.

I’m mad because I always feel like I’m playing catchup.

I’m mad because I don’t feel like stuff is mine sometimes, even though a lot of it is me not taking something and making it mine.

I’m mad because I feel like I don’t do the things that I want to do or like to do, and I can’t just say that I don’t want to do things or don’t like a thing. I know I should but I don’t or I can’t or I do and it’s later and I’m REALLY mad and then I blow up.

I’m mad that I have such a bad temper sometimes, and that I explode the way I do.

I’m mad that my body hates me, and that PMDD is a real thing, and that I have it.

I’m mad that there is so much terrible injustice in the world right now.

I’m mad that people don't’ treat people like people just because they don’t have a piece of paper that says they were born here.

I’m mad because an idiot is in the White House blowing up the country and people are worshipping him like he’s the Messiah.

I’m mad because a pedophile racist white supremacist narcissist dangerous terrifying uneducated entitled delusional wannabe dictator is in the White House.

I’m VERY angry that people I knew to be kind and good people support him--there is NO GOOD IN HIM.

I’m angry that I was fed lies my whole life.

I’m angry that the “Christian Right” that thinks we’re all being unfair to the aforementioned terror is the same “Christian Right” that shuns girls who break their chastity vows, or gay people, or people who got an earring (My stepfather almost lost his position in a Scouts-esque program because my BROTHER GOT AN EARRING) and drink and listen to *gasp* secular music, let a guy who’s like “Grab ‘em by the pussy, shithole country, send them back” and are like “you guys, God anointed him”



I’m mad when I see teachers who helped me learn kindness grace and dignity post memes on Facebook that show people in hijabs or keffiyeh and talk about how THEY hate America and THEY were responsible for 9/11 and THEY should leave when those teachers were the ones who went to MISSIONARY BANQUETS and talked about how the whole world was full of God’s people who HE LOVED EQUALLY and they’re okay with those people’s KIDS DYING IN CAGES.



I’m mad because I was too scared to post my wedding pictures because I didn’t feel like my body was good enough and now I feel like it’s too late.



I'm mad because whenever I type a thing like this that I really need to type there's a typo I don't catch til later and it makes me feel stupid.






I’m mad because I’m so damn mad.



And …I feel a little better now that I've said this.

Monday, July 1, 2019

My Girl



This is my girl. This was my girl. Full disclosure, I'm gonna cry my whole way through this post, but I also know I haven't written it yet but it needs to be written. You probably (if you know me on social media or IRL) know that Ana, my kitty road warrior and constant companion of 14 years, has been struggling for a month or two with very aggressive hyperthyroidism. If you're not sure what that's like, let's just say awful. They lose tons of weight, strength, lose their fur, get dehydrated...

The worst of it came when we discovered that in the space of 48 hours she'd lost the ability to jump up on the sink, and the aggressive hair loss came right along with it. We took her to the vet, they upped her dose, but in the end, even though the numbers came down, and even though we had her on meds, fluids, calorie supplements, and appetite stimulants, the tumor she had that caused HT (which is nearly always caused by a tumor, usually benign) was malignant (or it's suspected that's the case). Though she had been steadily improving she suddenly crashed. On Friday instead of her regular checkup, it was time to say goodbye to her. I knew it could be it, and I even thought she sorta "told" me the night before, but I was not remotely ready. She went peacefully, after I got to hold her for a solid half hour or 45 minutes while we did everything else we could to see if there was more we could do.

She was so so loved. She was so unique and beautiful.

Ana came to me via a friend, right after my cat Markie had passed--within the week. She was a surprise. At first, I didn't think I was ready. Markie was my first "very own pet." I was devastated to lose him so suddenly, and I didn't know if I could bond with a new pet so soon.

But Ana stole my heart. She was a screechy, fluffy, sassy spitfire from day one. She fell asleep trying to cross the room because she was tiny and four weeks old, but she also scaled our recliner to stick her face in cheesecake later that day--a feat we had no idea she was ready for.

Ana slept in bed with me like a teddy bear. She had a phase where she hung out in a fish bowl.

She moved from Illinois to New Mexico with me. It was a 24 hour road trip over two days, and my little road warrior sat shotgun, in a harness. She daintily used the litter box in the far back of my Jeep before I could even open it up, as if to say "I'm good, let's do this" and she didn't cry until she got to Texas (she just never liked Texas.)  When I got into the hotel in Oklahoma and cried my heart out because I had no idea what I'd just done moving all this way away from everyone, she crawled out from where she was hiding to come snuggle me.

If I was sick, she was there. She lived with Muffy and Spike in Los Alamos, and learned to be in a multiple cat household. Muffy used to sorta mother her while she was still young and silly. She lived in Socorro with a big silly Maine Coon named Rafiki, and picked a fight and got a notched ear, but eventually learned she couldn't be top dog everywhere. She moved BACK from New Mexico to Illinois with me, and lived in Deerfield. She moved back to Libertyville, too.

She started to be known as safety cat--she had a strong need for things to be safe for us. Don't go in that shower thing! that's WATER!!! The storm is crazy! You're making loud noises, is it safe?

When I had my sudden onset kidney infection alone, and was trying to sleep it off since I didn't know what it was, she was VIOLENTLY trying to wake me up and yell at me not to do that. She might even have saved my life with that. She did the same violent yelling when a wind shear hit our town. I was sleeping, home sick from work, and she wouldn't stop crying. I woke up just in time to see some branches fly by our window, scoop her up and run to the basement. She ALWAYS looked out for me.

When I worked three jobs and lived by myself and knew no one in the area, I'd come home from work, feet aching enough to make me cry, lonely as hell, and talk to her. I think that's when she learned to say "Wah?" which was a phrase she uttered often from then on. I'm pretty sure she was imitating me saying "what?" It was her favorite little phrase. When you talked, she'd say "WAH!" back, padding after you to talk more.

She got extra treats from my grandma, and table food when Mom wasn't looking and we all three lived together again. She got extra treats from Mom and table food when I wasn't looking.

She was camera shy and in lots of pictures was yawning, making it look like she was yelling all the time.

Once, she got in trouble with the cops. They were at our first apartment in Libertyville telling us about an adjacent building's problem with squatters, and the officer stopped and said "We have a petty thief, too!"

As he'd been talking to us about safety and the situation, he'd been watching Ana stuff hair ties, milk caps, pens and stuff into a stash we didn't know she had behind a heavy walnut desk my mom had. The officer helped us move back the desk, and we found...somewhere near 50 hair ties, pens, pencils, little caps she got from places, a few cat toys and various other small things.

Years later, she stole 25 dollars in cash AND a Christmas card meant for my cousin Mindy and stashed it in her new stash under a sofa. We didn't find it for months, and when we did it had nice little kitty cat chomp marks on it.

When I had E. coli, and was sick as hell for days, she was beside me. When I cried about boys or friends or anything, she was there, even though she wasn't always the cuddly type to anyone else or e even to me all the time.

She loved to snap her jaws at drips in the bathtub.

She LOVED cheese. Cheese pizza, cream cheese. After all, she'd chosen cheesecake to steal on her very first day with us, like I said. You could have all sorts of great table food but if there was no cheese, no deal. (Girl after my own heart)

She made another move in with me to Round Lake with my now husband. She REALLY loved him--and she hadn't liked nearly anyone as much as him, no matter how good of a friend they were to me. They bonded even closer when I left to visit my mom in Minnesota the first time after I moved there, and became besties. Sometimes I was even a little jealous of their relationship. If I woke up before him, she'd insist I let her back in to sleep on the bed next to him, instead of hanging out with me. If the other cats fought or if something unsafe was potentially happening, she was there.

In fact, she loved him so much, that when she slept in my arms like a teddy bear at night if he was next to me, she would reach out one paw to make sure she was touching him, too.

I know I've written a lot and I've told only a fraction of the Ana stories I could tell. She was a wonderful companion. The last month was so so hard. It was painful and time consuming and heartbreaking and stressful. But I would do that for ten more years just to have done right by her.

She's not my only pet--we have a whole family of them. But she certainly went through hell and back with me, had great adventures with me, and adapted to a lot of new situations, like a pro. She loved me and she loved the people I loved. I will always be grateful for the type of immense love and companionship she provided to me, every day.

It's still hard to see her stuff around, and see where the tent we used to help her recoup in was. It's hard when I realize it's 12:30 twice a day and that's her med time, and when I don't have a vet appointment for fluids anymore. It's hard to know she'll never sleep in my arms again, and we won't be taking any more road trips. I know what we did was the best thing for her, and I'm so grateful for the true tenderness that her vet Dr. Hart showed for her on her last day, and my husband right beside me. She was so fragile this past little bit I'd barely got to hold her, but on Friday, I held her for the better part of an hour, as close to my chest as possible. I held her every moment til her last, and I will never think of that as anything but a blessing, despite it wrecking me every time I think about it, say it or type it here.

She was a good, good girl.
Pets are family.
They're something more, too. They're unconditional love and support, without having to speak a word.

I loved you, Anastacia (Shaw) Bokor. I always always will.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019, man.




So.

Since we got married....which was a mere 7 months ago...
There's been a pet death
car accident that totalled my car
a pet stroke
a pet who suddenly got very ill with hyperthyroidism
a cancer scare
a MAJOR house repair
several hospitalizations with my FIL including one that lasted about a week over Easter
my own personal health struggles
day to day caretaking of someone with major health problems

and...the rest of life.

In case you ever wondered why I'm such a flake/not around/etc.

There are no less than five billion things going on in my life at once. And I'm still trying to grow a writing and editorship career while growing a photo business when I'm not trying to learn how to handle being an adult homeowner with my husband.

I have NOT done everything I could to get organized and take things on in a timely manner, and am in fact writing this instead of doing something I should be doing, but I am very much trying to adopt better habits so the future is a little less ...exciting in bad ways.

I'm here. We are making it work, little by little, with bumps in the road but vowing to keep going.
In case anyone wondered.

I'm surfacing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Day One Comes Around Again

If you mean to do a thing but you don't, don't give up forever. Start again. Do the thing. Make it Day One all over again and watch them accumulate if you keep trying.

SO:

Here is a thing. I wrote it. I decided I wanted to put it out there, and I decided more writing all around will help me be me better, so I'm back here at the ol' Blogger blog.

Now I'm gonna be quiet and type the thing I wrote on my phone a week or two ago.


Lift your head up
There's sky and rain and road
And the smell of wet pavement after a warm rain
And places you can go outside four walls
where you can walk free in any direction
and find yourself in mortal peril
in alien soft white sand

amongst the armored beautiful
who shout down the storm,
glitter, as they shift under moonlight
to disappear and rise
transformed with the dunes

To sail on the wind
 to the immovable face
of the hardest stone
and whisper change.

"You will break."
you will say
and leave the silence that remains
to float back on a breeze
in sparkling brilliance
And rise again in the moonlight
Eternal.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Saying things



I'm not gonna preface this. So much has happened, and I can maybe get to talking more about it if I can get myself up off the floor, so to speak.

I'm writing from a place where all the good things in my life lately got started. Incidentally, this place I'm in is very cold, like it was when everything started. At the time, it was winter, just like it is now, and colder than I'd been used to in a long time, which...though now a metaphor, is also true. Right now, this place feels cold and empty, even though it's that same place I found warm and homey before.

A lot changes because you look at it differently. A lot of people and how they are in your head is the labels you apply to them. At least sometimes. I feel like I always have to defend myself, and explain that that's not actually always true, because terrible things just happen to people and people can legitimately be horrible and awful. And that while I think that the answer for me is crawling out of the hole I've somehow not realized how deep I'd been digging, spade in my own damn hand when i thought I was laying foundation instead, that doesn't mean that people don't find themselves in holes they didn't make, or holes they legitimately can't just climb out of.

The problem is pretty words and dreams. All your pretty words fall flat if there's no reality behind them. All your pretty dreams, flower petals and soft glow of candlelight and precious moments staged just so--it's all a facade unless there's more than that moment and that  dream.

We all say we want better, but when do we do better? We say we hate the way things are, but are we out there actively railing or changing it? We say we see monsters, but we don't look in the mirror and see when we're the monster ourselves.

We say it's cold and dark and we're afraid, but why are we then running from the warm and light of our loved ones? Why are we pushing them away?

The house is dirty, the chores aren't done, the work is piling up. We're buried underneath it. Are we? Or are we, again, the ones holding the shovel flaccidly in our own hands unwilling to pick it up and dig out?

But no one taught us to dig, right? We don't know how. The answers seem hard. It feels like digging will break us, tear our flesh from our bones, make us different and worse. It feels like we were perfectly fine without digging, thank you, and would rather not make our muscles ache and our body wear down right now. We'd rather rest.

We're lost, but we simply couldn't stop to ask for help.

Now, we're just lost and treading water, because what are you going to do if you'll never admit you need someone to show you the way? And when you've also turned away from the light and warm, then how do you find anyone to show you how to dig, now that you've realized you're just an idiot who didn't want to get dirt on their pretty little sweater and their brand new boots.

The thing about screwups is admitting that you screwed up isn't enough. Maybe for two seconds it makes you feel like you did something, but really...then what.
Just because you didn't mean to hurt anyone doesn't mean you didn't.
Just because you have good intentions doesn't mean you haven't overstepped your boundaries.
Just because you wanted to help doesn't mean that you did.
Just because you wished it would be different doesn't change it.

We are men of action, lies do not become us. It's a great line from a great movie, and an even greater book, whose author actually did something, and told a beautiful story, and worked hard.

It's time to dig.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Twitter Folk Post



Hey!
It's me.
I am, and have been, in the Minneapolis area for a few days. I drove up Tuesday afternoon, arriving in the evening. It was unplanned and for an unpleasant reason, but things are stable enough now that I'm going to talk about it. It's not on Facebook because my grandma is on Facebook and I don't want to worry her with it, so let's keep it that way, if you will, my friends reading this (and family.)

Grandma was in the hospital after a fall or two, with some complications keeping her in until this afternoon from Monday. Obviously, it was a bit stressful for all of us. My mom and my aunt both live up here, but as my aunt was already stressed from hospital visits with other family members and as my grandma has literally not been in the hospital for any length of time in all my years on Earth, it was a bit jarring. (Add to this she's 93.)

So here I am. Supporting family is a funny thing, and obviously, since my grandma literally was my second parent for a lot of my life, I had a very strong desire to come up here and see her and make sure she's okay. I used to live with her (and my mom) for years, too, so even just having her in Minnesota while I'm in Illinois was an adjustment, and not being able to just pop over or pop downstairs to visit her. She's also a huge role model for me, and someone who literally took care of me whenever my mom couldn't when I was a kid, and taught me quite a lot herself.

She's currently out of the hospital, has no idea what all the fuss is about, and is over in a place that should help her with PT and ensure she doesn't end up back in the hospital again, but it's weird for us. I would normally not be talking about it here but at the moment here is the only real place I've got to talk about it.

There are certainly scarier situations that could have happened, and at times I feel like I've overworried or overstayed, but my goal was to see her settled and not in the hospital and knowing she's surrounded by her family and can count on them. We've pretty much accomplished that, though my heart really wants to go over there tomorrow before I go home and see how her first night was. It might seem silly but I feel like I'd feel better leaving that way. I'm also beating back some regret over how little time I've spent with her since the move, and how little I've communicated with her directly. Some of it's hard because she struggles with phone calls and stuff, but I feel like I could have done more. You never know what kind of time you're going to have with someone, and I feel like I don't want to waste any more of it.

I feel a lot of ways tonight, including a little bit alone. I feel like part of me overreacted and part of me didn't react enough. I feel like things are fine but I am also very worried. I feel like I didn't do enough for my aunt and mom perhaps. I feel like I left people at home in the lurch.I feel the pressure of work stuff and I feel aggravation at work stuff, and I feel tired and I feel gross.

In case you wondered how I'm feeling. If you didn't and you've read this far, well, now you know anyway. I don't exactly know what to say. I want to be home, cuddled and with the cats and the fiance, and feeling less scared and alone, but part of me just wants to stay forever and visit grandma every day until she's out of rehab and back at home. That's probably selfish, and it's probably making up for time I could've spent with her prior to this that I didn't do as much as I could have with, but here we are.

Grandma looks to be fine, her stubbornness and determination to do her thing keeping her upright and confused as to why she was even in the hospital in the first place. Though it's frustrating for everyone that she can't do what she'd like to, I'm hoping that this PT will help her be strong enough to not feel too out of control but realize that there's nothing wrong with getting a little help, especially after a long life well lived. Grandma's pretty amazing, and pretty able to kick back from these things without hardly a blink, so...that's what we expect she'll do.

I have been trying and failing to relax and get ready for the six hour drive home tomorrow, and wavering between giving up entirely at being stable and locking down hard core. And that's the honest truth. I have no idea the havoc i've wreaked in the process of processing, but I guess all we can do is wait til morning to tell that, eh?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Queer Eye for Every Guy (And Girl...and Everyone, Really)

group hug mama tammye GIF by Queer Eye

It'd be hard not to notice that things are kind of distressing in the world lately. And divisive. And hateful. And...well, not great. If you haven't noticed that, you might need to get out more. Or read more. Or y'know...be more active in the human race.

Anyway...I've been feeling it hard core lately. There was the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, someone I greatly respected and looked up to as a writer and humanitarian, and then the Hardwick thing, and of course the myriad things that make me feel ambivalent about the upcoming holiday. I don't know if I was looking for something to uplift, but I definitely found it. I watched the original Queer Eye when I was younger even though at the time, I couldn't fully appreciate everything about it (something I'm sad to admit.)

So it was obvious to me to watch the revival, though I wasn't sure if I'd like it. Turns out, I think it might be the good news antidote I've been looking for, even if I didn't know it.


Here's the thing. This is something I believe. It's something I believe strongly, and I choose to believe even when it's hard. I believe love wins every.single.time, if you can only find it. That's true in my own relationships and everywhere else. If you can find it, if you can do it, love will win. The problem is finding it and putting it out there even when you're not sure you're going to get it back.

That...at least to me, is what I've been seeing when I've been watching Queer Eye. People who are different from each other trying to understand each other, and help each other be the best version of themselves they can be. And yeah, it's not a groundbreaking television concept, but it does seem different and more genuine somehow. I feel like they're pretty real about who they are and the hurts and hangups they have.

Just started Season 2, going in thought it'd be good, but not much else. If you haven't seen Season 2 episode 1, I implore you to go seek it out. It's on Netflix and it's the antidote to lots of things, and for me, kinda tapped into the anger I have inside me about certain things.

It's all about a church lady the boys are helping out. She's love. She's everything southern hospitality and all sorts of sweetness and light. She's not sitting there sending thoughts and prayers, she's literally being the hands and feet and hugs and feeding and providing for people. And her son is gay. And she, being raised in the church, was not okay with that, at least not at first. And then, her son left. And she prayed. And she thought, and she realized that she was wrong, because love always does win.

Interestingly enough, one of the guys (Eyes?), Bobby, wasn't really having the whole situation. What you come to find out is that he was raised in the church (Like she was, like I was, like lots of people were...) and that when he realized he was gay, he used to agonize and pray at the altars for God to take it away. And then he got outed, and then he lost every last person who cared about him. Because love? Because God is Love? Because ...because why?

And the anger in his eyes was palpable when he told the story, and the pain. He wouldn't step foot in another church because his world was taken away from him based on people believing who he was was a sin.

And you could pooh-pooh that away, maybe, and I could, except that that's just how it is so often. The more I look back at the way things were in that environment, the more I see just how much it was like that. And to be honest, I still have that fear. There are people I love and respect that I went to church with growing up. They were influential to me, and loving. And yet...And yet I hesitated to post in disagreement. And yet I hesitated to come out strongly for what I believe in.

I've seen people lose their "status" and the love and attention of their friends and fellow church  members because someone in their family committed a crime. Because someone was an alcoholic, or had bulimia/anorexia. Or lose their leadership position because their son got an earring. I've gotten gossiped about both behind and in front of my back (yeah I know, but bear with me) because I ran into someone I knew from church (in the past, no less) and I had a bottle of wine in my cart, or was having a drink at TGI Friday's. I've been told to stay out of the church because I was wearing a tie-dye shirt with a peace sign on it (broken upside down cross don'tcha know.) Some of the most prominent members of churches I used to be a part of can only think to ask about the juicy bits of gossip about the families I know who have problems instead of even pretending to feign interest in their actual lives. There are pastors out there who smile and hug and say How's your day and before you answer say good, even if you're standing there with tears streaming down your face.

That's where the root of my anger at the church comes from. That and the complete lack of even a basic bit of concern for what's happening politically beyond hearing the words cross his lips that he's in support of the Christian right. Pussy grabbing, moved on her like a bitch. Russia. Immigrants and asylum seekers and their children. Suffer the children unto me. God is Love. Love Wins. Where is the love? How are you in support of a regime like this, and that's exactly what it is?

How are you laughing heartily along with the rhetoric out there? How do you care about children in the womb but not a mite outside of it. How do you so ignorantly assume that everyone who's not the same color as you is criminal or illegal or nefarious or ..an infestation. How do you want it both ways, where your sins are just fine and forgiveness is available but you won't even let someone who you believe is sinning into your house or your church. How can you not reach out to those who are hurting or scared, and just talk about them behind their backs?

Is "telling it like it is" all you can muster?

I don't have a problem with God. I do have a problem with the church. And I'm angry. And I too, feel left behind and betrayed by them, and I too am wondering where the love is, and how it got this far...

But at least, when I'm watching shows like Queer Eye and I see someone like that woman, who DOES things and cares about people regardless of if they're purple, black or white or gay or straight or immigrants or....then I know that it's still there. Somewhere. It gives me hope that love wins anyway, regardless of if it's left the places you'd expect it should be most. Love wins if you find it and if you share it, and so that's what I'm going to do.

I'm angry, but I feel like it's time to be angry. And, believe it or not, because of a little tv show, I'm hopeful...that we ALL, regardless of race, sex, creed, orientation...can find the love again and let it win.